The RED HEIFER (Hebrew : פָרָ֨ה אֲדֻמָּ֜ה; para
adumma), also known as the RED COW, was a cow brought to the priests
as a sacrifice according to the
* 2.1 Details of the commandment * 2.2 Jewish tradition * 2.3 Temple Institute
* 3 Christian tradition
* 3.1 Christians
* 4 Ancient Greek mythology * 5 Modern-day usage * 6 References * 7 External links
HEBREW BIBLE (TORAH)
BOOK OF NUMBERS
According to: "Speak unto the children of Israel , that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke".Numbers 19:2
Book of Numbers
In order to purify a person who has become ritually contaminated by contact with a corpse, water from the vessel is sprinkled on him, using a bunch of hyssop, on the third and seventh day of the purification process.(Numbers 19:18–19)
The priest who performs the ritual then becomes ritually unclean , and must then wash himself and his clothes in running waters. He is deemed impure until evening.
DETAILS OF THE COMMANDMENT
There are various other requirements, such as natural birth. The water must be "living" i.e. spring water . This is a stronger requirement than for a ritual bath . Rainwater accumulated in a cistern is permitted for a mikveh, but cannot be used in the Red Heifer ceremony.
There were courtyards in
Various other devices were used, including a causeway from the Temple Mount to the Mount of Olives so that the Heifer and accompanying priests would not come in contact with a grave.
According to the Mishnah, the ceremony of the burning of the red heifer itself took place on the Mount of Olives . A ritually pure kohen slaughtered the heifer, and sprinkled of its blood in the direction of the Temple seven times. The Red Heifer was then burnt on a pyre, together with crimson dyed wool, hyssop, and cedar wood. In recent years, the site of the burning of the Red Heifer on the Mount of Olives has been tentatively located by archaeologist Yonatan Adler.
The existence of a red heifer that conforms with all of the rigid
requirements imposed by halakha is a biological anomaly. The animal
must be entirely of one color, and there is a series of tests listed
by the rabbis to ensure this; for instance, the hair of the cow must
be absolutely straight (to ensure that the cow had not previously been
yoked, as this is a disqualifier). According to Jewish tradition, only
nine Red Heifers were actually slaughtered in the period extending
The absolute rarity of the animal, combined with the detailed ritual in which it is used, have given the Red Heifer special status in Jewish tradition. It is cited as the prime example of a ḥok, or biblical law for which there is no apparent logic. Because the state of ritual purity obtained through the ashes of a Red Heifer is a necessary prerequisite for participating in Temple service, efforts have been made in modern times by Jews wishing for biblical ritual purity (see tumah and taharah ) and in anticipation of the building of The Third Temple to locate a red heifer and recreate the ritual. However, multiple candidates have been disqualified, as late as 2002. (See the "Temple Institute" section below.)
Main article: Temple Institute
The Temple Institute, an organization dedicated to preparing the
reconstruction of a Third
Temple in Jerusalem , has been attempting to
identify Red Heifer candidates consistent with the requirements of
Numbers 19:1–22 and
Epistle of Barnabas (8:1) explicitly equates the
Red Heifer with
Some Fundamentalist Christians believe that the
ANCIENT GREEK MYTHOLOGY
The red heifer was also considered sacred to the Greek god
* ^ Carmichael, Calum (2012). The Book of Numbers: a Critique of
New Haven, Connecticut :
Yale University Press . pp.
103–121. ISBN 9780300179187 .
* ^ (Caesarian section renders a Heifer candidate invalid)
* ^ Mishnayoth Seder Taharoth, translated and annotated by Phillip
Blackman, Judaica Press, 2000.
* ^ Y. Adler, "The Site of the Burning of the Red Heifer on the
Mount of Olives", Techumin, 22 (2002), pp. 537–542. (Hebrew)
* ^ "The Mystery of the Red Heifer: Divine Promise of Purity".
Templeinstitute.org. 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2015-06-03.
* ^ "Apocalypse Cow".
The New York Times
* "Ashes and